Now, I realize that Poker Night 2 was released for both the PSN and the XBLA as well as Steam, but honestly, I didn't think twice about picking up for new, sweet laptop. Mainly because I have way to many games to play on my PS3 currently, and on my Xbox ... well, that wasn't even an option. On my laptop, though, I have already become a Steam-addict. So when I was browsing the Steam store, that I seem to do daily now, I knew I had to have Poker Night 2 on the new hotness.
I've never really been a huge fan of card game simulation games, even poker games. Don't get me wrong though, I really enjoy having the guys over for the occasional poker night, but that is more for the social aspect of it all than it is the game itself, or the stakes involved. When I go to Vegas, I'll sit down at a game table occasionally, especially if someone else with me wants to, but playing against a dealer for the sheer aspect of trying to win money isn't as appealing to me as it might be for others,
In Poker Night 2, the game is more than just about winning or losing. The social aspect is alive and well, despite the fact it's not a multiplayer or online game. You see, the cast of characters that join you for each tournament you participate in make you feel like you're just hanging out with your buddies, talking, shooting the breeze, etc. Oh, and the occasional jokes and put-downs, like any good gathering of friends should be.
You assume the position as The Player, and you are joined at the table by Ash Williams (The Evil Dead), Brock Samson (The Venture Bros.), Sam (Sam & Max) and of course Claptrap (Borderlands). The dealer is none other than GLaDOS from the portal series, which aside from the banter going on from the characters at the table, is the most charming aspect of the gaming experience. She isn't just the dealer, but is also the special color commentator, adding her thoughts, opinions and quips to each hand that is dealt.
The game itself is pretty straight forward. You choose from Texas hold'em or Omaha hold'em (if you want to be different, I suppose), and you start out with the same amount of money each time. The goal? To eliminate all your competitors and win the tournament. Simple and straight forward. There are challenges to accomplish as you play, and unlockables to obtain (cards, chips and tables) that open up different conversation possibilities.
Overall, it's a fun poker game, if only because of the experience, not necessarily the game. Too bad it didn't feel this good to lose money like this while gambling in Vegas.